Editor’s Note: This is a guest post about how the principles of ASO can be used to expand your marketing into events and conferences. It’s a bit of a switch from our norm and we hope you like it! All opinions are the author’s alone. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.
Leveraging Customer Relationships For Higher Search Rankings
We all secretly hope that our mobile apps will rise into the Top Charts or get featured, as those are the best ways make a splash in the app ecosystem. The truth is that without an extremely large marketing budget the chance of success continues to shrink as app numbers swell.
Between Google Play and the Apple App Store we are about to reach 2 million apps. The harsh reality is that becoming a top app overall or in your particular vertical is just not going to happen for the majority of developers.
Even with dismal odds, I don’t think anyone will be dissuaded from trying, but there has to be a more calculated approach. Apps no longer become successful due to luck, but by following the same practices that make businesses successful.
For every business visibility is key and that is why we place so much weight behind app store optimization . We know that if we can just get our app seen that we will have a higher chance at getting downloads.
General search is the largest method for app discovery, but that doesn’t mean that other discovery methods should be ignored.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Customer Relationships
The more people talk about your app the more people will download it. That is the basic premise for how word-of-mouth drives downloads. Word-of-mouth currently drives the second most traffic for new app discovery, placing it as a more valuable discovery method than featured apps. The larger question, however, is how to get people to talk about your app.
The answer is by providing great experiences. This is more than just usability, stunning design, or great content. Creating great experiences goes beyond the product itself and into your company and how you connect, listen, and respond to your customers. In other words, building relationships with your customers the old-school way through a new medium – your app.
The importance of connecting with your customers shouldn’t be ignored because there is no longer a brick and mortar store. On the contrary, right now there are more ways to involve your customers, get them talking to you, building relationships with them than ever before.
Building customer relationships helps foster trust, because people who talk to you trust you more. It builds loyalty as you continually provide a quality service and are available to help them if any problem arises. They know that they can come back to you time and time again and expect quality in your service and product. Trust and loyalty lay the foundation for great experiences that we all share via word-of-mouth. Conversations Are The Foundation of Relationships
Gathering customer feedback is great, but what’s better is turning every piece of feedback into a customer conversation . With a conversation you can learn more about the customer, make sure they are well taken care of, and provide an overall personal experience that makes them feel important and valued. These experiences create the stories that customers want to share with their friends.
Resolving problems, saying thank you, and interacting with customers on a more personal level creates experiences that you would expect from Starbucks, Nordstrom, or Zappos right inside your app. It is a powerful mechanism that people remember and will choose to share with others.
With the new weight attributed to ratings in the Apple App store , being more proactive (while not annoying) will be important to get better ratings for your mobile app. Too often only unhappy customers leave reviews while happy ones don’t even consider it. Every conversation you have is an opportunity to turn unhappy customers into satisfied ones and ask for a rating if it is appropriate.
While you are thinking about app store optimization don’t forget about the most powerful marketing channel you already have – your current customers. Starting conversations with your customers is the beginning of understanding what they want and who they are. Build the relationships that yield great experiences and you will be creating more advocates to help get downloads, ratings, and higher search rankings.
Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.